Recently I've been going through some very powerful psychological challenges after taking the shamanic brew ayahuasca several times in the jungles of Pucallpa, Peru. Ayahuasca has been used for centuries by the shamans of Peru, Colombia and Ecuador. Its medicinal properties are as much psychological as they are physical.

I have been forced to directly confront almost every thought that skips through my brain. From thoughts I choose to entertain, to those which seem to come without any desire on my part.

Of these thoughts, those which I focus on grow exponentially. Instead of taking days, weeks or months of focus on a thought for it to take firm hold of me, I find it now takes only minutes, and sometimes just seconds.




This is equally true for positive and, unfortunately, negative thoughts. I am forced to take a serious look in my mind.

In Napoleon Hill's classic book "Think and Grow Rich" it is claimed that thoughts literally are things that shape our destinies. Listed are the "Six Ghosts of Fear" which keep us from achieving that which we desire. Every single one begins with the entertainment of a negative thought.

Napoleon's "Six Ghosts of Fear" are:

The fear of poverty

The fear of criticism

The fear of ill health

The fear of loss of love

The fear of old age

The fear of death

Napoleon further states that "The Devil's Workshop" is "susceptibility to negative influences." This susceptibility, Napoleon claims, is extremely subtle and very powerful. It may attack us at any moment through a variety of mediums. Many times it is hidden under the guise of something that is good for us.

This common weakness has done more harm to the human race than everything else combined. It is from thought that emotion is fed and action is taken.

Ayahuasca has made me increasingly aware of the power of our thoughts. Instead of letting my mind be harnessed by whatever thoughts may be, every one of them makes a serious presence.

Each thought seems to magnify if I focus on it for just a brief moment. If I continue to focus on a negative thought consciously or unconsciously it becomes heavy and scars deep into my brain. Without being aware of it, that thought, which most likely rode the back of a "positive" message, clouds how I perceive the world. This subsequently affects every aspect of my life at some level.

Once a negative thought begins to influence us, whether we are aware of it or not, we begin to use that negativity as a tool to influence the others whom we come in contact with. If we influence just one person in this way the virus lives and may continue to spread from brain to brain, life to life.

Negative thoughts are tricksters. They like to deceive. They wish to appear good. They tell a truth to cover the lie. They slip into us undetected. They are parasites. When entertained they grow.

**When we think about something we don't want we are feeding that very thing!**

How we think becomes how we feel. How we feel is how we tend to act. If we think about a derogatory statement someone made to us, we have a tendency to get sad or angry. Our shoulders slump, our face frowns. Our forehead muscles tighten. Our awareness of the world is then perceived by how we feel. Once in contact with someone we release the thought through physical action to that person. It jumps at the person and intently tries to breed.

Fortunately, the opposite is true for positive thoughts. When our thinking is focused on the good things in life, the ones we love, a smile we received, a kind word, an affectionate embrace, we feel better and therefore act better.

When we think good things we stand taller, smile bigger, put a skip in our step and a hum in our throats. People tend to react to us in a positive way. More good things come to us, and the more good that comes the more we can give.

**Happiness is contagious.**

We can take control of our lives. We can choose the thoughts we focus on.

Negative thoughts bombard us constantly even with no action on our part. Positive thoughts, however, need to be consciously planted.

The best way to plant and harvest positive thoughts is to have an attitude of gratitude.

Be thankful for everything. Express your gratitude. Say "thank you" at every opportunity. Tell that special someone how much they mean to you. Take a deep breath of life and be thankful. Release your breath and feel alive.

**Practice the attitude of gratitude at every moment, of every day, for the rest of your life.**

Refuse to listen to anything that is not positive. When approached with hardships and challenges be thankful for the opportunity to learn. Constantly be alert for new ways to express your gratitude. Write down everything for which you are thankful. Associate yourself with channels and people that advocate the types of things you want from life. Read inspiring literature.

The results will astound you.

It is early morning as I write this article. Let me start my day by saying "Thank you, dear reader, for giving me an opportunity to share."


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